Examining a Type in .NET C#

You can get hold of Types in a variety of ways. You can extract the Types available in an Assembly as follows:

Assembly executingAssembly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
Type[] typesAttachedToAssembly = executingAssembly.GetTypes();

Console.WriteLine("Types attached to executing assembly: ");
foreach (Type type in typesAttachedToAssembly)
{
	Console.WriteLine(type.FullName);
}

In my case I have the following types in the executing assembly:

Getting types in an assembly

You can also extract the types within a single Module of an assembly:

Module[] modulesInCallingAssembly = executingAssembly.GetModules();
foreach (Module module in modulesInCallingAssembly)
{
	Console.WriteLine("Module {0}: ", module.Name);
	Type[] typesAttachedToModule = module.GetTypes();
	foreach (Type type in typesAttachedToModule)
	{
		Console.WriteLine(type.FullName);
	}
}

…which outputs the following:

Getting types in a module

You can construct Types without reflection using the GetType method and the typeof keyword. Say you have a simple Customer object:

public class Customer
{
	public string Name { get; set; }
}

…then you can get its type in the following ways:

Type customerType = customer.GetType();
Console.WriteLine(customerType.FullName);

Type customerTypeRevisited = typeof(Customer);
Console.WriteLine(customerTypeRevisited.FullName);

These will yield the same result:

Customer type

Once you have a Type you can inspect it through a myriad of properties. Here comes a short extract:

Console.WriteLine("Full name: {0}", customerType.FullName);
Console.WriteLine("Namespace: {0}", customerType.Namespace);
Console.WriteLine("Is primitive? {0}", customerType.IsPrimitive);
Console.WriteLine("Is abstract? {0}", customerType.IsAbstract);
Console.WriteLine("Is class? {0}", customerType.IsClass);
Console.WriteLine("Is public? {0}", customerType.IsPublic);
Console.WriteLine("Is nested? {0}", customerType.IsNested);

Type properties

There are methods available on the Type object to read all sorts of information that can be reflected on: interfaces, constructors, properties, methods etc. We’ll look at those separately.

View all posts on Reflection here.

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About Andras Nemes
I'm a .NET/Java developer living and working in Stockholm, Sweden.

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